Case study: Google Adsense vs Ezoic monetization platform on a website with 3000 page views per month

Jacquelyn Tandang
Jacquelyn Tandang
Aug 12, 2023

In this experiment, we used Google AdSense and Ezoic Access Now (Ezoic’s free version with lowest paying ads tier) to monetize traffic from Travel Cheap Asia - a website with around 3,000 monthly page views.

We have documented our performance before running ads as our baseline and compared it to the performance after installing Google AdSense and Ezoic.

Which monetization platform better suits a small website with 3000 page views per month in terms of performance, SERPs ranking, ad density and revenue?

In terms of speed

We used Diib.com to measure the average mobile speed experienced by Travel Cheap Asia’s visitors.

In the week of May 26, our average mobile speed without ads was an impressive 99/100

Without ads (May 20-27)

Upon installing Google AdSense on the week of July 17, our average mobile speed dramatically decreased by 68 points and our average mobile speed dropped to a jaw dropping 31/100.

With Google AdSense Ads (July 22-29)

This very significant change is unacceptable even with the Google AdSense script loading asynchronously. We did expect that running ads will negatively affect performance - this is the reason why we strived to obtain the best performance possible before running ads.

We spent only one week on Google AdSense to get an understanding of how much we can possibly earn on this platform as we do not want the decrease in mobile speed greatly affect the SEO efforts we have made thus far.

With Ezoic Ads (July 29- Aug 5)

On July 29, we installed Ezoic. Average speed performance of 82/100 was a lot more acceptable. Ezoic offers Ezoic Leap - Ezoic’s tool set to help improve core web vitals. One of Ezoic Leap’s features is free CDN caching through CloudFlare.

In blog#6, we discussed what CDN is and how it helped improve loading our images. With Ezoic, we can also load our web pages from a CDN, this means, as our pages propagate through the network, users can access our website faster.

After achieving a 75% cache hit rate after more than one week, our mobile speed performance improved to 82/100. As our cache hit rate increases, we expect our mobile speed performance to improve.

With Ezoic, there is an acceptable decrease in mobile speed performance but did the decrease in the mobile speed score affect our ranking in the SERPs? Is the decrease in performance worth the revenue?

In terms of SERPs ranking

Before running ads, our average position in Google serps on May 20-27 was 12.2.

While running ads on Google AdSense on July 22-29, our average position was 10.1.

Running ads on Ezoic on July 29- Aug 5, our average position went down to 10.3

Our average position doesn’t seem to correlate with the decrease in our performance score. A reason could be, since we ran Google AdSense only for one week, it wasn’t long enough to affect the SERP rankings therefore it could explain that the ranking seems to have improved rather than decline. But on July 29 - August 5, we observed a slight decline on the average search position which may have been a delayed reaction by the changes after running Google Ads.

This week, it looks like it is back on track to get to 10.1 once again.

This could mean that there is a notable decrease in average search position after running ads from Google AdSense but little to no decrease in average search position after running ads in Ezoic.

In terms of revenue

In Google AdSense we earned an average of $1.8 per 1000 page views in a one week time frame. On some days, we were reaching $4.69 per thousand views.

However, in the first two weeks in Ezoic, we were earning roughly around only $0.58 per 1000 page views which is very low. The highest rate we got was only around $2.49 per thousand views on August 2.

According to Ezoic docs, we should give Ezoic up to 12 weeks to check revenue. It uses an AI to understand your site’s audience and optimize your ads accordingly. We will check our revenue again after 10 more weeks. Since the decrease in site performance with Ezoic is acceptable, we can let it run for 10 more weeks.

Running ads from both Ezoic and Google AdSense through Ezoic Mediation.

Using the Ezoic platform, you can also run Google AdSense ads. When you link your Google AdSense account, Ezoic and Google ads will compete through bidding. The highest bidder will get the ads placement.

You can see in the dashboard under the mediation section earnings not coming from Ezoic ads.

Checking our AdSense account, there was indeed a $0.02 revenue around the same date.

For a website with 3,000 monthly page views, running ads from both platforms may not be ideal. The minimum amount to withdraw funds from AdSense is $100 USD while the minimum amount for Ezoic is only $20 USD.

If AdSense bids $0.3 and then Ezoic bids $0.2 for an ad placement, AdSense will get the placement and the revenue will be credited to your AdSense account. It will take time before you can withdraw funds from your AdSense account if your website traffic is only around 3000 page views per month. Technically, you have lost $0.2 revenue if you ran only Ezoic ads. You will be able to withdraw revenue earlier running only Ezoic ads on your small website.

In terms of Ad Density.

Google AdSense by default has an acceptable ad density compared to Ezoic below. Ezoic by default, places ads on places that do not makes sense to have ads, such as below the footer.

Ad density is the amount of ads displayed in your page. Too much ads may cause a poor user-experience. There are ways to customize ads placement to increase or decrease ad density whichever platform you choose to implement. You can further improve your revenue by increasing ad density but must take into consideration your user-experience.

With less ad density but greater revenue, looks like Google AdSense can provide more revenue with less ads. With increased ad density, we might even earn more.

Conclusion

For a small website with 3000 monthly page views, running ads from Ezoic platform seems to be the better choice compared to running ads from Google AdSense.

Summary
  Google AdSense Ezoic
Mobile speed 31 82
Average revenue per 1000 views 1.8 0.58
Negatively affected SERP rankings Significantly No significant difference
Minimum withdrawable amount $100 $20
Ad density Acceptable Aggressive

Though earnings seem to be higher from AdSense, mobile speed performance was negatively affected. There will be a need to further optimize the website performance manually, the revenue will be spent on services such as CDN to improve performance.

Though earnings are much lower in Ezoic (for now), the difference in the earnings seems like a small price to pay taking into consideration the free CloudFlare CDN set up and other features we can use to further improve our website performance that we haven’t fully utilized yet.

Moreover, disabling above-the-fold ads in Ezoic may have also caused improved performance in the expense of revenue which may also explain the performance and revenue difference.

Ezoic also offers ways to optimize your website for greater revenue. Also, Ezoic AI is still working around optimizing revenue for 10 more weeks. We will play around these features as well while we observe for 10 more weeks.

There is also an additional analytics feature that can provide more insight than Google analytics which can also help up improve both performance and revenue.

With a minimum withdrawable amount of $100 in Google AdSense, it will take time to cash out your revenue on a website with small traffic. We recommend serving ads via Ezoic only for small traffic websites.

Google AdSense would be a better choice for websites with large traffic and has a publisher knowledgeable on manually setting up CDN and improving performance.

See you on our next blog post as we continue to optimize our website performance and revenue through Ezoic!

Click here to create an Ezoic account and start earning from your website traffic.